Forget the blancs and rosés - these
reds from South America will keep you warm this
I recently ran across a map of the Americas that was printed with
South America at the top and North America at the bottom. What's
wrong with this picture? To my prejudiced North American eyes, the
whole thing seemed upside down, but to anyone living in Argentina
or Chile, it must seem like a long-overdue correction. After all,
is there any real reason why north should be "up" and south should
If the first world explorers had been natives of Patagonia or New
Guinea, we would most likely have a very different picture of our
globe. And suppose you're a mantis-headed alien flying in from
Alpha Centauri, probe in hand. From space, there's no "right side
up" to planet Earth - even though, for reasons not clearly
understood, most abductions seem to take place in the rural regions
of North America.
Maybe the cartographers who conceived this way of looking at the
Americas were onto something. If you look at it from a wine lover's
perspective, you can say that South America is "in turnaround."
Argentina is certainly abuzz these days, and Chile has started to
produce some of the world's best ultra-premium wines.
Here are three of Chile's latest luxury reds. Alpha Centaurians,
DOMUS AUREA 1996 CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Ignacio Recabarren, one of Chile's top oenologists and a consultant
to many of the country's top producers, had dreamed for years of
having his own wine. Clos Quebrada de Macul, owned by Ricardo and
Jorge Peña, is one of the best vineyards in the Maipo Valley. These
two forces seemed to be destined for each other. Recabarren and the
Peñas agreed to produce a single-vineyard estate Cabernet Sauvignon
called Domus Aurea, or "house of gold," the name of Nero's palace
in ancient Rome.